Friday, October 11, 2019

7QT: Happy Birthday, Jesus Take the Wheel, and New Phone, Who Dis?

It's Friday!!!  What a long, rainy, windy, chilly week in New England.  We're seriously lacking in Vitamin D around here, but I'm gonna keep it sunny with these quick takes...


It's Phil's Birthday!  Woohoo, he's the third birthday in two weeks, but we can't let the man of the house go unnoticed.  Since his birthday falls on the Friday of a long weekend, we will be celebrating for days!  It's his last year of happiness since he'll turn 40 next year ;)  

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Andrew Turns 15 (and the Girls' Heads!)

On the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, our Andrew turned 15!  I will always regret not naming him Andrew Francis, but I didn't even realize what feast day it was when he was born, and my Dad's brother (a really great, holy man) had passed away during my pregnancy so we wanted to name him after him.  I started guilting Andrew at a really young age that he had to choose Francis as his Confirmation name, and this is the big Confirmation year, so we shall see if all the Catholic guilt/Mother's nagging will pay off.  Hey, it worked for St. Monica ;)

Since his birthday was on a Friday, and he had soccer practice until 5pm, he just wanted an easy dinner of pizza and Phil's homemade cookies and ice cream, which meant I had the day off from cooking.  Thanks, current favorite child ;)

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Car Prayers: Our Morning Routine

Most mornings, I take the elementary/middle school kids to their school and then continue on to work.  For years and years, we had a morning prayer routine in the car.  We would say the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Angel of God, and St. Michael prayers, with each kid leading one of the prayers so that everyone got a turn.  Then we would go around and say what we wanted to pray for, and what we were thankful for, and finally blow a kiss to Jesus and a kiss to Mary and bless ourselves for the day.  

A few years ago, our pastor encouraged us to pray a rosary daily in the months of Mary, and so we started listening to the rosary (this specific one) to start our day off on the right foot.  The rosary trumped our morning prayer routine, and became the new norm, and the kids were pretty reverent and respectful while it was on.  

Friday, October 4, 2019

7QT: Meeting Famous People (Matthew Slater) and Other Happenings from the Week


Well the most exciting thing that happened to me this week was that I got to meet Matthew Slater from the Patriots!  

That was the first photo I saw, and I nearly killed Phil, thinking it was the only one he took!  But it wasn't.  He also took many of me looking completely crazy and starstruck.  Maybe one day I'll be cool.

He came to talk at a Catholic School Fundraising event, and I snuck up to his table between the salad course and the main entree to ask him to autograph the Patriot Yearbook I had brought with me.  He was soooooo nice about it all, and he is my new favorite Patriot.  Sorry Edelman!

Monday, September 30, 2019

The Third Trimester of Parenting

A couple of weekends ago, we went apple picking as a family, except we weren’t all there.  My two oldest boys had to finish up some schoolwork before they headed to their grocery store jobs, and so it was just a party of seven for picking.  Later that week, we celebrated a child’s birthday, and again, the teenage boys were noticeably absent.  The eldest was volunteering at a pro-life event for service hours, and the second son was at a soccer game.  This feeling of having them home, but on the verge of leaving home, reminds me of the third trimester of pregnancy.

That first trimester of pregnancy is always a blur for me.  The surprise/shock/elation of finding out a new baby is on the way and all of the hopes and worries that come with that, combined with morning sickness and extreme exhaustion, make me grateful just to survive until week 12.  It’s the same with parenting newborns.  I love my babies, but sleep deprivation is torture, and having to get up and function at work after being up all night breastfeeding is not for the weak.  I always look back on the first couple of months, like, how did we get through that?  The next few years of raising toddlers can be equally demanding on parents, many needs with little independence.  Although it can be so much fun, nobody can deny it’s trying and tiring sometimes. 

But then!  Then comes the second trimester, the most glorious of all!  Both in pregnancy and in raising children, that middle stretch is a wonderful relief from the physical demands of the weeks/years before.  The kids are more independent, they are all school age with more reasonable demands, and life feels a little more comfortable.  Everybody is sleeping better, feeding themselves, and enjoying time spent together.  There is excitement about the future and room to just breathe and enjoy.

Then comes that uncomfortable third trimester.  I am so empathetic to pregnant mamas in the final stage, reminding them that a pregnancy has to get uncomfortable enough so that they can mentally feel prepared ready to do anything to get the baby out.  If there was no discomfort at the end of a pregnancy, a mother would never be willing to go through the pains of labor.  By the ninth month, I’m always like “I don’t care how much it hurts, I want this baby out now!”  Not sleeping, heartburn, waddling, frequent bathroom trips, multiple doctor appointments, back aches, contractions, oh boy, it’s not pretty.  But it is necessary. It’s the body’s way of getting ready to let go.

The teenage years are the third trimester of parenting.  They can stretch us to grow in many ways, and are preparing us to learn to let go.  Though they still live here, as evidenced by their dirty laundry and our grocery bills, they often have one foot out the door.  While I am not ready to drop them off at college anytime soon, my heart is growing more accustomed to them being outside of my home.  DO I miss the days when we were all together all of the time?  Yes.  But do I begrudge them their time to experience life on their own?  Nope.  I have to go through these years with them, aching, growing, preparing to let them go little by little.  Have I taught them well and loved them enough to watch them take their first steps in the real world?  Probably not yet, but hopefully both they and I will feel ready when it’s time to face the big day.  For now, we’ve still got a few more years in this last trimester, thank God.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Another Teenager in the House!!! (Eamon Turns 13)

Our third kiddo turned 13!  Guess what he got for his teenage birthday?  BRACES!  I know, so mean, right?  Somehow *somebody* scheduled the braces appointment without remembering that it was Eamon's birthday.  That *somebody* claims he/she scheduled it that day because I had a physical that morning and knew I would be heading into work late anyway, so why not add on another appointment.  I can see the reasoning, and all in all, it worked out great because Eamon and I took the day off work/school which was nice.  Plus, that *somebody* is really handsome, lucky for him (and me).

The orthodontist's office is the most wonderful (he is seeing a different orthodontist than our two older sons did) and made a big deal of his birthday, handing him an electronic toothbrush and a pint of ice cream as he left.  We drove home, stopping to get some lunch and do a few errands, I let him play video games for hours, and then some family members came over for dinner.  Eamon chose "football food and ice cream sundaes".  So I made taco salad, pigs in blankets, strombolis (one with ham and cheese, and one with pepperoni and cheese) and soft pretzels with a cheese sauce.  Yum!